A tearjerker of a show, thanks in large part to a profoundly sympathetic performance of soprano Rena Harms, English National Opera’s staging of Madam Butterfly delights the eyes as much as it moves the hearts of its audience.
Puccini’s sad tale of forlorn love and the consequences of strident and oblivious narcissism (imparted brilliantly by tenor David Butt Philip as young American Navy Lieutenant F. B. Pinkerton) is vividly presented with a display of dazzling costumers (Han Feng, Costume Designer) and dynamically coloured lighting and use of colour (Michael Levine, Set Designer; Peter Mumford, Lighting Designer). Adding layers more mood and sentiment, puppetry (Blind Summit puppeteers) inspired by traditional Bunraku theatre and Japanese fan dance sequences (Carolyn Choa, Choreographer).
Of course, above all that exceptional performance and visual excellence, it’s the music that carries this sensational production with conductor Sir Richard Armstrong guiding his orchestra through the rousing score aptly.
Madam Butterfly runs until 7 July 2016 at the London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4ES. Find out more at eno.org.